The goal of the Teacher Preparation Program is to train students to be competent members of the education profession and to qualify them for Florida teacher certification. While the School is ready to help its students to succeed, it should be noted that the standards for performance are high.
Under the direction of the chair of the Department of Education and the dean of the School of Education and Social Services, the Department of Education has four functions:
- Direct and authorize the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Teacher Education Program.
- Cooperate with local schools in providing mutually beneficial classroom experiences for education students.
- Offer its services for advancing education throughout the University and the larger community.
- Offer support to the teacher education graduates during their first year of teaching.
The Teaching Certificate
To be hired to teach, candidates must be certified by the state in which they hope to be employed. Each state has its own certification requirements, but an interstate agreement on qualifications for teachers has been arranged by some states. This agreement is renegotiated periodically, and the list of participating states may change. Students should check to be certain that their home state is currently participating in the agreement. Each state which is party to the agreement may recognize graduates from programs of other member states.
Many states have reciprocity with Florida regarding transfer of teaching credentials, however, students should check with their own state’s Department Of Education for more information.
To benefit from the interstate agreement a student must graduate from a state-approved teacher education program. The State of Florida Department of Education (DOE) Office of Educator Preparation grants state approval to teacher preparation programs that meet specific quality indicators. The Office has granted approval for the following programs at Saint Leo:
- Elementary Education/ESOL/Reading (K-6) : Bachelor's
- Middle Grades English/ESOL/Reading (5-9) : Bachelor's
- Middle Grades Mathematics/Reading (6-9) : Bachelor's
- Middle Grades Science/Reading (5-9) : Bachelor's
- Middle Grades Social Science/Reading (5-9) : Bachelor's
- Exceptional Student Education/ESOL/Reading (K-12) : Master's
- Reading (K-12) : Master's
- Education Leadership : Master's
Saint Leo University School of Education and Social Services’ Office of Program Approval keeps these Saint Leo education programs in compliance with state expectations, and works with faculty to keep curriculum and reporting current. To remain in compliance with state DOE reporting requirements, Saint Leo University must make an annual accountability report about the effectiveness of their education programs available to the public.
Entering a Teacher Education Program
Before enrolling in any education course above the 200 level, a student must declare a major in one of the teacher education programs. This may be done when applying for admission to Saint Leo University or at any time during the first or second year of attendance.
As a part of this declaration of education as a major, the student must meet certain requirements. The student will be admitted to the department only after submitting proof of meeting the following requirements:
Students must have successfully completed a minimum of 24 credit hours of General Education, except for Exceptional Student Education majors, with an overall 2.5 GPA and must have passed all subtests of the General Knowledge Test (GKT).
Remaining in a Teacher Education Program
- Students must maintain a 2.5 overall GPA. Students whose grade point average falls below a 2.5 will be given one semester to raise the grade point average to a 2.5 or better. Students taking courses under these circumstances will be considered on probation during that time. If the grade point average is not brought up during that semester, the student may not be permitted to take any education courses until the overall GPA is at or above 2.5.
- Students must have a C or better grade in each education course taken at Saint Leo University or any education course transferred in from another university. If a student receives a C- or less in a course, the student must retake that course.
- Students matriculating under prior catalogs must take and pass all subtests of the General Knowledge Test (GKT) prior to completion of the junior year or equivalent and must have passed the mathematics section of the General Knowledge Test (GKT) prior to taking EDU 330 Mathematics in the Elementary Classroom or EDU 452 Mathematics Methods in the Middle and Secondary School.
Internship (EDU 480)
A student who wishes to be certified to teach as part of the degree program must spend one complete semester as an intern. Internship is completed during the last semester of study. Internship is a full-time activity and is taken only during a regular fall or spring semester. Special requirements, which must be met before a student is allowed to intern, are as follows:
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.50 and a minimum grade of C in each education course taken.
- Successful completion of the education course sequence.
- Passing the GKT (General Knowledge Test) which is a part of the FTCE.
- Taking the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) during the semester prior to the internship semester. Passing the FTCE is a graduation requirement (see next section).
- Both the Subject Area Exam (SAE) and Professional Education Exam (PED) must be PASSED before final internship.
- Completing an application for student teaching by February 15 or October 15 of the semester preceding internship.
Graduation Requirements for Teacher Education Programs
Graduation requirements for teacher education programs are as follows:
- Satisfy all requirements listed under Internship.
- Pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE). Notation of completion of a state-approved program will appear on a student's transcript when all requirements, including passing the FTCE, are met. Any student not passing the FTCE will not be considered to have completed the approved program.
- Receive a passing grade for EDU 480 Internship and EDU 481 Internship Seminar.
- Meet all of the Florida Accomplished Practices, Subject Area Competencies, Reading Endorsement Competencies (if applicable), and ESOL standards (if applicable) at the preprofessional level in both the final internship and in required education courses.
- Satisfactorily complete all requirements for a bachelor's degree as set forth elsewhere in the catalog.
Certification by Transcript Approval
The state of Florida presently allows certification applicants to be certified to teach through a course-by-course satisfaction of each separate certification requirement.
Saint Leo University undergraduates who are enrolled in one of the department's state-approved teacher education programs and who will receive a degree in that area of certification must follow their state-approved program course of study as outlined. Any Saint Leo University degree-seeking undergraduate who is not enrolled in a state-approved teacher education program may enroll in education courses that are intended to lead to certification by the state of Florida. He/she must meet the same entrance requirements as those students enrolled in approved teacher education programs and will require careful course planning guidance by his/her advisor and the education department chair.
Students who hold a bachelor's degree from another university or from Saint Leo University in English, history, social studies, biology or mathematics and who wish to seek state certification in middle or secondary subjects may enroll in the Post-Baccalaureate Middle and Secondary Program administered through the Evening and Weekend Program Center. Post-Baccalaureate students seeking elementary education certification should consult the education department chair or an academic advisor in the education department.
Florida Laws Concerning Education Programs and Teacher Certification
Florida law requires candidates for certification to pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE). To facilitate passing this examination and to ensure certification, all students in the Teacher Education Program must pass the examination before completing their program at Saint Leo University. Notation of completion of a state-approved program will not appear on a student's transcript until the FTCE has been passed. The General Knowledge Test (GKT), which is used as one part of the FTCE, must be taken when a student has earned 60 hours. The Professional Education and the Subject Area Subtests are administered by the state on specific testing dates. The fee is to be paid by the student.
Teacher candidates, who complete a state-approved program, obtain a teaching position, and earn a satisfactory evaluation, will be eligible for certification within their first year of teaching in most districts of Florida. The specific components of this requirement may be determined by contacting the home school district in Florida at the appropriate time.
The Teacher Education Program of Saint Leo University is subject to the requirements and review of various accrediting and certifying agencies. When these agencies dictate changes in rules or procedures, such requirements supersede the statements in this catalog.